Ahh the gaming culture personally i think its birth was around the same time doom raided the offices of the world bringing in the concept of cross network gaming and larger communitys of people with a common interest of gaming.
Im sure there are many people out there who would disregard gaming as a culture without fully understanding the community scale and dare i say almost cult status of it in modern society. With LAN partys becoming more and more common in which i myself hold one once a month between my friends, its clear that it is becoming more and more a regular part of our lifes and definatly the more dominant choice of entertainment in the household.
But obviously me saying this doesnt explain the sheer scale of gameing as a culture and its importance. LAN events such as i-36 at Stoneleigh Park which is the biggest LAN party in the UK with thousands of participants each year who get along with each other becuase they all have one common interest.. not to mention there is nothing more satifying than a friendly game of shooting the hell out of your friends and random strangers lol...
When i take a look at myself and games in my life i realise it occupys a huge part of my life.. even when i go out to try and escape from that fact i normally get asked what im doing a uni and unless i lie and say im doing something boring like law, i get 3 hours of game talk so all in all i cant escape it. Its worse now because i feel i have to buy the latest games and consoles simply to study and keep in touch with new graphic movements and styles so what started off as playing games for the fun of it is now an obsessive education move (or at least i try to pass it off as that).
What scared me was when i realised i had so many friends on xbox live that i had never met in reality and the same goes for msn. These days i try to meet as many of them as possible as i have travelled across the country once or twice to meet people as have they travelled to meet me.
Eiter way gaming as a culture is increasing even more as wii brings older generations into the picture and cross network gaming spreads further worldwide..